Category Archives: Image Tools

Review: Reshade Image Enlarger [Free License Giveaway]

Are you a photographer, a web designer, a publisher, or someone who has ever tried to enlarge photos the rightway? What software did you use for photo enlargement? And most importantly, did you get what you expected? In most cases, I guess not.

I got a little bit disappointed too by the poor quality of most of this type of software, until I found Reshade which I’ll be talking about today. It’s kind of new photo resizing software, but as far as I played with it, seems to be damn worth a try.

Reshade Main Window

To start with, I can just say Reshade produces extremely high quality (up to 20x zoom huge sizes) and realistic results using a quite interesting photo processing method. You’ll see later what I mean.

Reshade seems a good pick because of its speed, ease of use and simple GUI. Even more, it comes in two flavors: either an online version that you use in your browser or a downloadable Windows app.

When an image is resized to a certain extent, square pixels are clearly visible, which makes the image look dull. Moreover, the image can become an absolute blur. These problems can be easily solved using Reshade. It helps to keep your image accurate by removing noise from the image. Reshade keeps the edges sharp and smooth. You can also use advanced settings to make your image more accurate and professional.

I have used many professional photo editors to resize images but none of them allowed me   to zoom 20x larger. Moreover the final quality was very poor when compared to this program. Most of the time we I have seen that when an image is resized, the quality of the image is reduced considerably. Reshade eliminates this problem and offers you a crystal clear image.

Reshade Editing

It supports almost all image formats including .jpg, .png, .bmp, .tiff. This program works much faster when compared to other image editors. If you save the resized image in .jpg format, it will be compressed. I recommend the use of .bmp if a lossless format is needed.

Features

  • Get crisp, clear edges at almost any zoom level
  • Remove blur and refocus image edges
  • Contrast and enhance image features
  • Easily remove photo defects
  • Go from smooth to precise contours
  • Make selective edge transformations
  • Extract even the finest details from your photos
  • Get best color estimation with a little more processing time
  • Enlarge images over 20x maintaining contour definition

Good Things About Reshade

  • You can actually control the image edge thickness, which is a lot better than just adjusting sharpness
  • Smooth the image, a really strong effect that you can’t really get in Photoshop
  • Some interesting stylizing filters: making the whole image have rounder corners for example (try to play with low accuracy values)
  • Batch processing a whole folder of images applying the same custom settings on each of them, and cropping to the right size at the same time
  • From my experience, it works very fast

Reshade provides you an option to fully take control of it no matter if you are an expert or a complete noob. Unlike other resizing tools, the interface seems quite intuitive and allows you to really be creative. No more wizards that constrain you to some preset sequence of steps, everything can be tweaked and un-tweaked at any time.

Now, you might be thinking how reshade can be better than other resizing tools that are available on the market? For this purpose, let us compare Reshade with the great Photoshop. Below are the images, one enlarged using Reshade and the other one using Photoshop:

clip_image002

Quite noticeable, isn’t it? There is a huge difference in the final output of both softwares and the one enlarged by Reshade seems to be of better quality (edge definition) as compared to Photoshop’s foggy and blurry output. Moreover, one needs to be an expert in order to make Photoshop come even close to these results via a series of complex operations while Reshade can do it in almost no time.

I liked Reshade Image Enlarger because the final quality of the resized image is absolutely amazing. Moreover the quick preview helps a lot while resizing the image. The output is much faster than Photoshop. Although anyone can easily use this program, it is most often recommended for professional photographers and web designers.

I recommend you try out the stand-alone Reshade version. They have a new beta available, with many new features, some of them I’ve mentioned here some I didn’t. I guess the $150 price tag seems a little expensive, but compared to the $250+ you need to pay for similar lower quality applications it’s a real deal.

If you liked what you saw, we are giving away a free licensed copy of Reshade worth $200 to one lucky reader, read below to see the details of participating.

Free License Giveaway Worth $200

The creators of Reshade are giving away one copy of Reshade Image Enlarger to a lucky winner for free, the premium version of the software has the following features.

To enter the competition you will have to follow one of the rules given below.

  1. Tweet about this competition and include a link to both reshade.com and this competition. Once you have tweeted about it, please leave a comment on this post to finish participation.
  2. Leave a comment on this blog post telling us why you would like to win a copy of Reshade Premium.
  3. Write a blog post featuring both Reshade and this competition and leave a link to it in the comments.

You can participate by using either one or more than one ways, the winners will be picked randomly and will be given a premium license of Reshade worth $200.

So go ahead and participate to win a excellent image resizing tool that will not make your image look dull.

Create a Collage From Your Photos Using PhotoVisi

There are so many neat things one can do to manipulate, enhance and optimize the effect of a photograph and express the captured moments in a better way. Creating a collage is a unique way to represent a set of photos together, such that they integrate with each other without losing their individuality.

You can create custom collages in Photoshop but that would take you at least a few hours and a lot of effort. An easy alternative is to use an online tool like PhotoVisi. PhotoVisi is a tool that generates collages from your submitted photos. Simple choose from 18 different collage formats that PhotoVisi offers and then you can either upload the photos from your local drive or from your Flickr account.

Once you have upload the photos, a beautiful collage would be generated from them that you can also use as a Wllpaper for your computer. Different collage formats offered by PhotoVisi actually cater to the number of photos you want to make a collage of.

Share High Resolution Pictures As Zoomable Widgets

High resolution pictures from a good SLR camera can be significantly large in size. Viewing it on a regular desktop involves a lot of scrolling if you want to view the full version. All this scrolling can be a hassle and doesn’t provide an ideal solution to viewing these pictures. An alternative solution is to use a web application like Closr.

Closr lets you share high-resolution pictures by turning them into zoomable widgets. Simple upload a picture on Closr and Closr will provide you with a code to embed your picture anywhere on the web as a widget. The best part, however, is that the viewers to your website would be able to zoom in and out of the picture from within the widget. No need to expand it over the full browser window and scroll like crazy.

You can choose a custom size for your widget before obtaining the embed code and manage your widgets form your free Closr account even after you have embedded them. Moreover, each widget has a full-screen mode in and accompanied tags to make it even better.

Add Cool Effects To Your Photos With EffMyPic

There are tons of tools out there to play around with your images but EffMyPic is different. EffMyPic is specially focused on personal photos or portraits and allows you to make them fancier by adding cool effects to them.

Not only can you make your photo appear like a vintage photo, you can also make it appear on a bottle, a computer, a city bus, a billboard, a wanted sign and much more. Getting any of these effects through Photoshop or GIMP would generally take a huge amount of time and effort. Check the image below for some cool things you can do to Eff your pic.

Once you are satisfied with the final image, you have the option to download it on your local drive or hotlink the image from any website or blog. You can also directly send the pic to Twitter, or post it on your Facebook or MySpace account. Not sure which effect you want? Check out the public gallery displaying recent images that have been tweeked.

Identify The Colors In Any Image Using ColorHunter

We often see images with really cool colors that we would like to implement in our designs, but it becomes hard to identify the exact colors used in the original image. If you ever find yourself stuck in a situation like this, check out ColorHunter.

ColorHunter is a web application that can identify the colors used in any image and create a color palette based on them. All you have to do is specify the URL of an image or upload an image from your local drive. The image should be .jpeg, .gif or .png format. ColorHunter would then identify all the colors used in that particular image and create a color palette.

You can switch between dull and vibrant colors of the palette and also see the HTML color code behind each color. If you are unsure about a color, you can simply search ColorHunter using either a tag or the hex code.

Reduce The Size Of An Image With PunyPNG

Nobody likes images that take a lot of time to load. For webmasters it means more bandwidth usage and hence more cost. Therefore it is always a good idea to keep the size of your image as low as possible without affecting the image quality. You can do that if you have good Photoshop skills, but if you are not a photoshop expert or would like to save some time, I would recommend using PunyPNG.

PunyPNG is an online tool that reduces the size of an image by converting it to a highly-compressed PNG. Simply upload your GIF, JPEG or PNG image and let PunyPNG compress it for you without losing any quality or details. You will also be able to see the original size of the image, the final size of the image and the percent reduction in size.

After the image has been compressed, you can simply download it. You can upload any image with max file size of 500 KB. You can also use this tool as a simple JPEG to PNG converter.

Convert Between 100 Different Image Formats

You must have seen tons of image converters online that let you convert from this format to that e.t.c. What if there is an online tool that lets you convert between more than 100 image formats, and all for free.

Go2Convert is an online image conversion tool that supports over 100 formats. Simply upload an image of up to 5 MB, and choose your desired output format from jpeg, png, psd, bmp, pdf, ptif, pict, svg, ps2, rbg, avs, epi, gif or any other popular image format. Go2Convert will convert your image instantly and also email you the link to the converted image.

You also have an option to re-size your converted image anywhere from 100 x 75 to 1600 x 1200 pixels. All the converted images are stored on the servers for 5 -10 days. If there is an image format, no matter how rare it is, chances are it would be supported by Go2Convert.

How To Remove MetaData From Your Digital Images

Metadata is an important piece of information that describes your content. When we talk about a digital image, metadata can contain information like creation date and time, details of the camera settings, information about image editing softwares used and sometimes even the location the image was captured at. Most of the times this information is harmless, but you don’t always want this information to be available due to security and privacy concerns.

So how do we remove metadata from an image? There are a number of freewares that allow you to remove all the metadata from your images. The first one to mention is JPEG and PNG Stripper that would strip your digital images of all the metadata information. Couple of other freewares that accomplish the same task are Exif Tag Remover and Batch Purifier. No matter which freeware you use, the image quality is not affected during the process since the cleanup is only meant for the metadata.

Create Yourself A 3D Screensaver With The Photos You Have – Photo! 3D Album

The world is becoming really digital nowadays that one has no choice to be in the old 2D option. We now have to compete with these upcoming changes. This computer world is now a 3D world. Things that are not 3D have no appeal in today’s computer generation. Even the OS that are being released, like Windows 7 also have a great visual appeal. Now, here is a software that helps you to make an album of your photos and explore them in 3D as screen-savers or movie files.

Photo! 3D Album is a windows software that helps you to create screen savers or exe files with the images on the computer. This is a freeware software that is really wonderful in creating albums in 3D way.

Features:

  1. This freeware software helps you to watch your photos in different scenes called as galleries that are inbuilt in the software. To get a more clear understanding about these galleries watch the pictures below. (Here the gallery has a set of photo frames in which the photos are arranged in a random way from your Pictures folder.)
  2. This also enables you to choose the images you want and also put the images wherever you want around the gallery in a drag and drop fashion.
  3. When you run the screen saver it starts navigating through the hall in the gallery showing off your pictures in the picture frame. As the camera comes nearer to the picture frame it enlarges the picture to its real and original size in full screen. It also names the pictures you are watching.

The Striking Feature:

The striking feature of this software is that you can save your albums as .exe files which help you to watch anywhere, mail anyone or also post it on the web. (The .exe file created by this software is a standalone program and does not need this software to run.) Isn’t that striking!!!!

Here is the link from where you can download the software: Photo! 3D Album.

17 Image Manipulation Tools You Should Know About

We have previously covered a lot of image tools that included everything from image editors to image converters. This post is about a different kind of image tools. Tools that can let you add, transform or manipulate your images to give them a totally new look. All of these tools are free and require no registrations or downloads.

1. Watermark-Images: Batch watermark your images online. Add up to 20 images, customize the text and font of your watermark and apply it to the images within no time. You can adjust the position of you watermark and add a shadow affect to it.

2. FixRedEyes: Remove the red eye effect from any photo with this simple tool. Simply upload the image, adjust the red eye area and click fix.

3. ImageSplitter: Slice up your images in rows and columns. Just upload an image and specify the number of rows and columns you want. Then choose output format and resolution and click process.

4. ImageMerger: Merge two images online using this tool. The first image is treated as a background image and the second one is added on top of it. Useful for adding watermarks to images.

5. Pic2Color: Extract colors from any image. Just upload an image or provide the URL and Pic2Color will provide you with a color palette of colors used in the image.

6. MirrorEffect: Add mirrored effect to any picture. Choose reflection size and the direction of effect (bottom, top, left or right).

7. TextImage: Convert a photo into a text image. Choose from HTML, ASCII or Matrix text images.

8. Pic2Graphics: Recolor pictures by transferring the mood of one picture to another. Simple select two pictures, one to recolor and other to grab the mood from.

9. Montagerator: Create beautiful montages and mosaics online. Upload a photo or use one by providing a URL.

10. Speechable: Add speech bubbles to any image. Customize text and bubble size. Embed images on your blog or webpage.

11. WaterEffect: Add water effect to any image. No registration or downloads required, simply upload the picture and get a water effect in resulting picture.

12. RoundPic: Make your picture   more hip by adding rounded corners to it. This tool takes any image and turn regular corners into rounded ones. You can even add borders and shadows to the picture.

13. BeFunky: Add a digital-painting or cartoon-like effect to your images. Manipulate images by pulling and pushing any area of the image. Create cartoonized avatars by choosing different backgrounds and accessories. You can also add ink, stencil and pencil effects to your images. BeFunky alow works for adding a cartoon effect to videos.

14. PicBite: Annotate images online. Once done, you can download the annotated images or embed them on your blog or web page. Also allows you to crop or resize an image.

15. GIFup: Create animated GIFs online by simple uploading your images and choosing desired animation settings.

16. DoSize: Re-size up to 10 images simultaneously. Once resized, you can download the images or email them to your friends.

17. YearBookYourself: Give your photos a vintage look. Choosa an era like 1950’s, 60’s, 70’s or 80’s and morph it into a classic.

Water Effect

Embed Flickr Slideshows On Any Website

Flickr is one of the largest and for sure one of the best places to store photos. One of the really cool features offered by Flickr is creating photosets or slideshows. You can combine tons of photos in a cool looking slideshow, but how do you share it with others? FlickrSlidr solves this problem for us.

FlickrSlidr is a really simple web app that lets you embed your Flickr slideshows to any website or blog. All you have to do is specify the URL of your photoset and set a few slideshow options; that’s it. You will then be provided with an HTML code that you can use to embed the slideshows on your web page. You can also set parameters like slideshow hide and width and preview option to customize the look of your slideshow.

Upload Photos From Picasa To Facebook

I use Picasa desktop tool to keep my photos organized and upload them to Picasa Web albums, however I use too pretty often and was looking for a tool to upload photos from Picasa directly to Facebook.

There are a few different ways to upload photos to Facebook one is a Facebook photo uploader and another is a plugin to upload images to Facebook from Windows Live Gallery, however if you are a Picasa user there is another tool called Picasa Uploader which will allow you to upload images from Picasa directly to Facebook.

To upload images from Picasa to Facebook, follow the steps given below.

Step 1: Download the Picasa uploader application, you will be prompted to launch the Picasa application when you click on the download link.

add_facebook_button_to_picasa

Step 2: Add the Facebook Button to Picasa by clicking on the Add button.

Step 3: Follow the steps to authorize the application to access Facebook.

 facebook_upload_button

Step 4: Select the photos you want to upload to Facebook, and click on the Facebook button from the bottom of the screen.

facebook_picasa_uploader

Step 5: A new window will open up, if you have already authorized access to Facebook, you will see a screen where you can add information about the album.

permit_app_for_uploading

When the albums are uploaded you will have to personally login to Facebook and approve the uploaded photos, if you do not want to that everytime, just click on the enabling extended access, clicking on this link will show you a screen to authorize the application to upload photos.

facebook_permit_photo_uploads

If you do not authorize the application to upload photos you will have to login to Facebook and go to your photos and then approve the images.

On the other hand if you allowed the application to upload photos to Facebook, it will show up in your albums.

Pretty easy right, this is definitely a great tool for Picasa users who also use Facebook and will definitely save them a lot of time.

Take Screenshots Without Any Software Or Plugin

There are tons of softwares and add-ons that let you take screenshots of webpages, edit them, resize them and then save them. But what about times when you are on a new machine or a different browser and need a quick screen capture of a website. Here’s the trick.

Suppose you are visiting a webpage with the URL http://abcd.com/xyz. To do a screen capture, simply add aviary.com/ before the http and press enter. You will automatically be redirected to the aviary.com website showing a screen capture of the original web page.

Once you see the screenshot, you have the options of editing the image, resizing it, cropping it or saving it on your desktop. The Aviary image editor will provide you with almost all the standard tools that you see in a regular screen capture software. You can also launch an advanced editor to use advanced image editing features.

Alternately, you can also go to Aviary.com/launch/talon and enter the URL of the webpage you are trying to capture. Aviary also allows you to choose the optimal screen resolution and image quality you desire.

If you use firefox, you can also use their Add-on to have a quicker access to the tool.

Search Image Galleries With Kalooga

Flickr and Google are pretty good when you are searching for a couple of images. However, they can be a hassle if you are trying to find a lot of images on a specific topic. Here’s where Kalooga can help.

Kalooga is a new way of searching for images! Instead of searching for individual images, Kalooga searches for web pages that have complete image galleries related to a specific topic. When you search for something on Kalooga, it will show you 4 thumbnails from each gallery, tell you how many images there are in the gallery and what website it is from. Clicking on any of the thumbnail would take you to the actual gallery page.

Searching for galleries, instead of individual images, can provide more relevant results and be less time-consuming. You can also add your own galleries to Kalooga so they become easily searchable by other users.

Google Image Search Adds Filter By Licensing Option

There are millions of images spread across the internet, however not all of those are free to use, some images may require users to pay royalty before they can use them commercially.

does provide users with an option to search images with Creative Commons licenses which can be used anywhere without having to pay royalty to the image creator.

Google Image Search too will now have an option to search images and filter them based on the licensing.

image search usage rights

The new options are now available as a part of the advanced options for image search, however we could not see them yet, which means that Google will be rolling out these features slowly to everyone.

This is the first instance any search engine has added such an option to image search, Yahoo does have it but it’s data comes from Flickr.

So the next time you want to search for a free to use image, head to Google Image search.

Update: Google has gone live with this feature you can read more about the announcement; Find Creative Common Images With Image Search.

[via Google OS]